This year, the MWF overlaps with Aussiecon 4, the world science fiction convention. My first ever convention was Aussiecon 3, and it was there I first met one of my best friends, Ellen. We were both in a writing workshop together on the first day, and I spent much of the rest of the con with Ellen and her friend Simon. Since then, I've been to at least one convention every year -- all of these, bar one, have been in Melbourne. Since that first one I've built up a reasonably large network of people I know in the SF community, some through conventions, some through attending Clarion, some through attending the MSFC (Melbourne Science Fiction Club) albeit briefly, and some through my writing group SuperNOVA. But I still spend most of my con time with Ellen as we share a lot of common interests and are both keen panel-goers. But this will be the biggest con for us both since that first one, so it will be interesting to see how it differs. I do remember being surprised at my second con at how small the program seemed in comparison (understandable, of course), and how intimate it all seemed. Now I'll be experiencing that in reverse.
So, consequently, it doesn't look like I'm going to make it to the MWF this year, which is one of the great shames that they overlap (although the MWF is on the weekend before too). On the positive side, they have been able to share some guests. (The con date was booked years ago -- at the time I think the MWF started a week earlier than it currently does, so there would have been no overlap.) If life at the moment weren't so chaotic, I could've made both -- I'm sure some of my friends will -- but I'm saving my energies. I'll need them: five days (well, four for me because I have to work Monday) of wall-to-wall panels -- writers talking about writing. Lots on fantasy writing. It's SF writers heaven!
The two panels I'm most looking forward to are both workshops: one on mapmaking and one on writing fight scenes right. Stay tuned for the con reports!